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literature. Mr. Arnold catches the exact spirit of Tennyson when he proceeds thus :

This for our wisest: and we others pine,
And wish the long unhappy dream would end,

And waive all claim to bliss.

Our wisest!' What wisdom is there in this maudlin moaning over the events of life? That the highest wisdom pertains to the supreme poet is my firm creed: but the supreme poet is not the man to ululate interminably about the death of a friend. He knows too well the significance of death. He knows too well the goodness of God and the greatness of man. To him life is not by any means a 'long unhappy dream' an idea worthy of a Frenchman or a fool. It is, on the contrary, a noble reality, only too brief for the great deeds that should be achieved in it, for the immortal ideas that pervade it.

The Greeks knew better. Their type of the

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poet was Apollo, the divinity of sunshine and
strength and youth and love. Fancy Apollo
in need of hourly varied anodynes ... one
day the melancholy verse of Tennyson, and
another the distraught prose of Carlyle .
one day Holloway's pills, and another old
Dr. Jacob Townsend's sarsaparilla ! Not
precisely the poetic lord of the arrows of

Nunquam humeris positurus arcum,
Qui rore puro Castaliae lavit
Crines solutos, qui Lyciae tenet
Dumeta natalemque silvam,

Delius et Patareus Apollo.

It is no wonder that the lower classes of minds among us are afflicted with a morbid disgust of life, when men of such intellectual power as the authors of In Memoriam and The Scholar Gipsy show the bad example. Both are poets of no common order ; but both have wholly mistaken the life of man on this planet if they really imagine it to be

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nothing more than a 'long unhappy dream.' It is a great reality, and very full of happiness.

Wordsworth (who lived without anodynes, having faith in God) thus admirably defined the qualifications of a poet,

The vision and the faculty divine.

I suppose some amount of the divine faculty must be admitted to belong to the morbid modern poet: but no glimpse of the divine vision has he, or he would not mope and moan, like an idiot who cannot apprehend the meaning of life-like an owl blinking painfully at the sunshine. To the true poet is given in the highest mortal measure that divine vision which all men in their degree may attain : and no amount of high culture, of musical and literary faculty, will make a man a poet unless he is also a seër. To see God and man and life and death as they are -not through spectacles of blue or yellow glass—is a poet's first necessity. If he cannot


do this, he may be as delicate and dainty as he likes—I would rather hear the most untuneable barrel organ that ever infuriated Babbage, or the loudest railway porter that ever shouted unintelligibly the name of his station. The frightful imposture of setting up for a poet with a fine stock of dactyls, spondees, trochees, and the like—but without an original, or even a healthy idea-is to me intolerable--

I had rather be a kitten, and cry mew.

But it is vain to protest : these vacuous gentlemen will do it.

Writers of lower rank—the novelist and the journalist to wit—are just as bad as the poet. The ordinary novel of to-day is an abomination. I will not name names. Take the writer you think the best ; examine his master-work fairly; then say if there is a character in it like anybody you ever metor expect ever to meet—in actual life. And

why must every story have a villain in itor mayhap a dozen villains, male and female, each more atrocious than the other ? You don't encounter such people in society: if you did, society would be intolerable. Why is fiction to be more vile and vulgar than life? Is this the true function of letters ? Here is the poet teaching you that life is a long unhappy dream--and the novelist that your wife is probably a bigamist and your daughter a murderess. Where are we to look for something healthier? Try the journals.

Now the press which lives by cheapness and has to appeal to an uneducated audience has a vast number of faults; but it is on the whole better than that of any other country, and I shall not criticise it. But there are journals which profess a higher tone, and ask for refined readers, and yet play precisely the part of the novelist who puts impossible villains in his stories. These newspapers do their utmost to furnish their

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